Exclusive: Farmer, 22, Shares How His Passion Helped Him Plough Through Tough Times, Now Reaping the Rewards

Exclusive: Farmer, 22, Shares How His Passion Helped Him Plough Through Tough Times, Now Reaping the Rewards

  • A young farmer from the small rural area of Komkhulu eMunyu in the Eastern Cape spoke to Briefly News about the joys and challenges of his livelihood
  • Nkosinathi Makamela is a fourth year University of Fort Hare Student who started his own farming business in 2020 during the hard lockdown
  • He started small but today his business is thriving as he specialises in pigs, chickens and vegetables and has even gone on to win impressive awards

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Hailing from the small rural area of Komkhulu eMunyu in the Eastern Cape, farmer Nkosinathi Makamela was born to be under the sun while reaping the rich rewards of the soil.

The young man took some time out of his busy schedule to share with Briefly News all about his passion of farming and how he has managed to turn it into a thriving business called Lolo Mixed Farming. He specialises in pigs, chickens, cows and various crops which he pays meticulous attention and care to every single day.

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Farmer, Eastern Cape, South Africa
22-year-old farmer Nkosinathi Makamela is a vegetable and livestock farmer who has been doing very well for himself. Image: Lolo mixed farming / Facebook
Source: Facebook

Farming runs in the family

Although born into a family of subsistence farmers, Nkosinathi only started his venture in April 2020 during the hard lockdown when the University of Fort Hare, where he studies Animal Science, suspended all academic activities.

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“I was raised by parents who love animal farming. My mom was more focused on pigs, chickens and vegetables. Whereas my dad cared for cows, sheep as well as crops too. It was at home where I developed a love for farming. But I always wanted to know more about animals beyond just farming them. I wanted to understand the health and science behind them,” said the fourth year student.

While at home he took the initiative to use the academic funding that had been sitting unused in his bank account to start a small vegetable farm while working on plans to build a structure for a piggery. He completed it in July and soon bought 8 piglets. He has never looked back since.

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Ploughing through the challenges

He admits that running a successful farm that feeds his family and community is no small feat. The 22-year-old shared that as a small scale farmer, money and water shortages remain big challenges.

“Capital is a big challenge. Since I don’t really have much resources I therefore don’t have efficient equipment such as a tractor and other agricultural stuff to do my work. That means I have to resort to the old school way of farming like how our grandparents did, such as using my cows to plough through the soil. It is a lot of hard work and it’s not easy.”

Nkosinathi said water shortages his rural area limits the amount and type of crops he can plant.

“For example, I’ve decided to put a hold on farming crops like spinach which need to be watered regularly. Instead I plant vegetables like potatoes, corn and pumpkins which can survive on rainwater,” he said.

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Farmer, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Nkosinathi Makamela with some of his fresh produce. Image: Lolo mixed farming / Facebook.
Source: Facebook

A community of supporters

The young also man shared that he gets a lot of support from his community and has built a market of consumers who are always eager to purchase his fresh produce which he sells both on Facebook and in town, eDutywa.

Farming is both a way of life and a passion for Nkosinathi. He said after losing his mother in 2019 his love for the rich soil and animals grew even deeper.

“My mother’s passing left a huge gap at home and on our farm. In addition to her presence we also no longer had chickens. I knew I had to do something hence the birth of my own farming business.”

His hard work and determination have been paying off remarkably. He managed to build his own house from the savings and profits of his business.

An award winner

He won the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Trailblazer Award and the Eastern Cape Youth Award last year in recognition of his farming.

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Nkosinathi currently has his sights set on purchasing a larger plot of land where he will farm more crops and livestock and be a step closer to realising his dream of becoming a commercial farmer.

His other goals also include creating more job opportunities as well as passing the baton of knowledge in his community by hosting agricultural short courses for the youth.

“I advise anyone who wants to get into farming to put in the work. I started with very little but with perseverance, patience and research I’ve been able to do well for myself so far. They need to believe that anything is possible. If you don’t have the funds to study, look at YouTube tutorials, read up on your interests, get out there and speak to people. There is always a way if you really believe in your dream. Don’t be afraid to start small,” he encouraged.

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Rural boy inspires Mzansi with thriving farm business

In a similar story, Briefly News previously reported that a young man left many peeps inspired after he shared the amazing progress and development of his farming business.

Terry Maphosa (@terrymap1) shared a tweet that featured two photos showing how his farm went from being a vacant piece of land to one rich with lush vegetation. He captioned the post:

"I look back into last year. I’m that 'trying rural boy'.”

The 29-year-old from Mhondoro Ngezi in Zimbabwe spoke to Briefly News about his thriving business and love of agriculture.

Source: Briefly News

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